Last year, sales during the holiday season represented up to 30.1% of annual revenues in some consumer-focused segments. That’s why Q4 tends to be a make-or-break quarter for B2C companies.
But the holiday season isn’t only for B2C firms. It’s also an ideal time for B2B companies to proactively engage prospects at a critical point in the sales cycle.
One channel where B2B marketers can effectively connect with current and potential customers is social media. Social media remains a key part of the B2B decision-making process, with 83% of executives using it in their buying journey and 92% of purchases being influenced by this channel in the last year.
To effectively leverage the power of social media during the holidays, B2B marketers need to take a few things into consideration. We compiled a handful of expert advice on holiday social media tactics and included them here in this infographic.
Let’s go over these eight tips in detail:
#1 Understand the impact of social media seasonality
Decision makers’ use of social media varies throughout the year as prospects’ priorities shift from one period to another. During the Christmas holidays, overall social media activity can pick up or drop.
For example, Social Media Today notes that some B2B industries typically experience reduced activity in the final weeks of December as potential buyers focus more on closing out year-end projects and less on researching new solutions.
But this may not be the case for your industry or your target customers. That’s why it’s crucial that you carefully study past social media performance to uncover seasonal trends.
#2 Keep sharing useful and relevant content
We’ve already seen that social media holds some level of sway over a majority of B2B purchase decisions. While your target audience’s social media activity may drop during the holidays, this channel’s impact on the sales process remains undiminished.
Since the holidays are a perfect time for people to catch up on their reading, it’s also an ideal time for you to continue sharing content that resonates with your target audience.
Your holiday social media posts can include both original and curated content. The main thing is to share useful and relevant resources.
#3 Make sure your holiday social media activities stay in context
Many B2B purchase decisions are finalized in Q4 and implemented in January. This highlights the need to place your holiday social media activities in the context of your buyer’s purchase process.
According to the Buyersphere Report, B2B decision makers gravitate toward different social media platforms at different stages of the buying cycle: Facebook and blogs in the awareness stage, LinkedIn and blogs in the consideration stage, Twitter and Facebook in the decision stage.
Daniel Kushner from Octopost mentions that using buyer personas in your holiday social media campaign allows you to segment your audience into different social streams, create targeted messaging strategies, and gather separate analytics.
#4 Sprinkle the 3 R’s into your holiday social media mix
During the holidays, marketing resources can become stretched too thin as teams focus on project completion and staff starts heading out for vacation. This often leads to a drop in the amount of original content you’re able to publish and share on social media throughout the season.
To help you maximize the meager resources at your disposal this time of year, MediaPost suggests applying the 3 R’s of content marketing:
- Reuse – Find an existing content piece and repackage it in a different format
- Refresh – Update an old resource to make it more relevant
- Reimagine – Revisit an earlier topic and look at it through another angle
#5 Tweak your social media posting schedule
The holiday season also brings a change in the way your social media audience spends their workday. This affects the level of engagement your social media activities can generate, so it’s good practice to adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
When modifying your social media schedule for the holiday season, the tweaks you make shouldn’t negatively impact the quality and value of your posts. Again, past social media analytics should serve as your best guide:
- What are the times of day your target audience is online?
- What are the days and times your audience tends to view and interact with your posts?
- How do different metrics (reach, impressions, engagement, etc.) vary throughout the day?
#6 Maintain a high level of community engagement
Dialing back on social media posts doesn’t necessarily mean you have to engage less with your community. There’s still plenty of ways for you to stay engaged during the holidays:
- Create themes around topics that your audience is interested in
- Curate the latest industry news and trends
- Post quizzes, polls, and contests
- Showcase notable community members
- Respond to inquiries and questions promptly
Since you’re probably working with lesser staff during the holidays, you also need to assign flexible schedules to the people in charge of social media in your team.
#7 Start way before and continue long after the holidays
Depending on how much the holidays impact your social media engagement, it’s good practice to start your holiday campaign a few weeks before and after the peak holiday season. This gives your campaign enough traction to generate results.
A lot of B2B marketers, for example, divide their holiday social media campaigns into different phases, spanning early November to mid-January. Again, your previous social media experience should be your guide when planning the duration of your campaign.
#8 Humanize, don’t just personalize your social media activities
The holidays offer a great opportunity for you to showcase the people behind your brand and your customers. These types of posts blend well with the season’s festivities, and they help your audience connect with the faces and stories of key people in your community.
Here are a few ways to humanize your holiday social media activities:
- Share stories about people in your team and company, and don’t forget to showcase customers and prospects
- Relate your company’s vision and purpose to events your community cares about
- Join in the celebrations and get into the festive mood
Conclusion: If there’s one piece of advice to take away from this post, it’s that the holidays are all about having fun. That’s what you should aim for in your holiday social media campaign; everything else is just a bonus.